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to be flowing and falling, effortlessly, deeply, deliriously, and

By eleven o'clock on the night of December 30, most of the
people of Bardsville were at home and in bed. Some men
still hung about in the saloons, hunched over the bar to look
at their reflections in the mirror, or standing back from the
bar with a glass in one hand and the other raised to affirm
some disputed point; the barmen, however, were already
beginning to glance at the clocks and to execute their move-
ments with a greater and greater, and a more impersonal,
deliberation. Small groups still sat about in the lobbies of the
two hotels, but the conversation was waning. A few bands
of boys and young men roamed up and down the streets of
the business section, flinging firecrackers that exploded with a
hollow, echoing sound between the rows of buildings, and
then laughing suddenly and prolongedly. Or they stood on
the corners, under the arc-lamps, with their hands thrust
into their pockets and their shoulders drawn against the
briskness of the air. But away from the business section the
streets were deserted, except for a few isolated figures that
would hurry along under the bare boughs of the maples, their
heels making on the brick pavements a small, clicking sound
as regular and empty as the ticking of a clock. The houses
between which they passed were darkened, with only, per-
haps, a little light showing through the glass above a front
door or under the drawn shade of an upper room.

At fifteen minutes after eleven a locomotive whistled for a
crossing to the south of town, and then, soon after, slid heavily
alongside the deserted depot. The night man at the station
came out, and with a greeting muffled by weariness and dis-
interest, handed up a paper to the engineer. The fireman
clambered up over the tender and fumbled clankingly at the
spout of the water tower. Rushingly, the black water, streaked
with a feeble and fluctuating silver in the light of the station
lamps, poured into the reservoir. The few passengers who
had descended at the platform disappeared up the street. The